Memorial Day has come and gone, and summer seems to have established itself for the season. Such a rapid transition from cool spring to hot, muggy summer-like weather has made a larger-than-usual window of flowerless time after that luxurious first week of lilacs at my market stand. In addition, the German and Siberian iris, usually a reliable resource between those lilacs and the peonies-into-annuals tumble of June blossoming, were skimpy this year despite my conscientious dividing and transplanting last fall (which usually prompts lots of blooms the next year). Add to that a market at all three locations plus a wedding order to fill, and the garden gave all it had - mostly to the wedding client, who got every blue Spanish Hyacinth, Purple Allium splendens, silver Lamb's ear stem, maroon Geranium phaeum, and every purple, yellow or ivory dutch or German iris showing its colors at the point of it's tightly-wrapped bud.
Happily, my daughter caught me raiding our little Lily-of-the-Valley patch, and offered to drive me to my favorite old source, a gone-wild swath on the banks of the river across from her dad's house. We picked a great handful, concluding that there is nothing more perfectly bridal.
Because the pickings at the farm were slim, I took mostly "tinies" to market: little composed bouquets, this year in recycled tin cans covered in scraps of fabric left from sewing. When making these, I think of their place on a nightstand, as a gift to an unsuspecting parent, as a last-minute hostess gift or birthday surprise. The fabrics often inspire the composition, and sometimes the least inspiring clips of fabric result in such a harmony with the flowers, it is quite pleasing. Here, four that didn't sell found perfect spots throughout my house. Bloom Where You are Planted.
I've been farming since I was a toddler, when my grandparents showed me how to put onion sets point-up in the sandy furrows of our Michigan homestead. It's taken thirty-odd years of horticultural jobs—from potting up lilies by the thousands to managing a 150-member CSA at Hancock Shaker Village—for me to embark on cultivating a farm of my own. Hence, the title.